Today’s Deep Space Extra

October 11th, 2021

In Today’s Deep Space Extra… Second Orion European Service Module ready to be delivered to NASA. Roscosmos faces significant budget cuts.


Human Space Exploration

Second European Service Module ready for delivery to NASA
Aerotech News (10/9): The second Airbus-built European Service Module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft is ready for delivery from the company’s site in Bremen, Germany. An Antonov cargo aircraft will fly the hardware to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. The European Service Module is a key element of Orion, the next-generation spacecraft that will transport astronauts beyond low Earth orbit as part of the Artemis program. The module provides propulsion, power, and thermal control and will supply astronauts with water and oxygen.

Boeing and NASA continue to investigate Starliner valve problem
Coalition Members in the News – Axiom Space, Boeing (10/9): NASA and Boeing are looking to the first half of 2022 for the launch of CST-100 Starliner on Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2), an uncrewed test flight of the capsule to the International Space Station (ISS). Preparations to launch in early August were halted when an oxidizer propellant valve issue surfaced. The cause is still under investigation.

China rolls out rocket for its longest crew mission yet (10/8): China has rolled the Long March 2F rocket to a Gobi Desert launch pad that is to transport three of China’s astronauts to the Tianhe module of the country’s new space station for perhaps a six-month mission. A launch date for the Shenzhou capsule with the trio has not been announced.


Space Science

Tour of Jupiter’s Trojans could reveal Solar System’s chaotic origin
Coalition Member in the News – United Launch Alliance
Science (10/7): Launch of NASA’s Lucy mission to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, atop an Atlas V rocket is set for next Saturday, October 16 at 5:34 a.m. EDT, the opening of a 20-day launch window. The mission will visit asteroids that lead and trail the large planet as it orbits the sun. Scientists believe the Trojan flybys over a 12-year mission can provide new insight into the solar system’s early planet formation process. NASA will hold pre-launch and science media briefings on Wednesday and Thursday ahead of liftoff. The launch will be aired on NASA TV and streamed at

NASA is ready to take on the world with its new climate action plan (10/9): As last week came to a close, NASA issued an action plan to deal with climate change. NASA is one of 22 agencies involved in the effort. With an infrastructure distributed from the East to the West coast, NASA’s facilities contribute to and share climate knowledge, but they are also threatened by the impacts of climate change. About two-thirds of NASA assets are in locations at especially high risk. Concerns include sea level rise, thermal conditions, precipitation, and extreme weather events.


Other News

Putin slashes Russia’s space budget and says he expects better results (10/8): Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, is facing significant cuts in annual budgets over 2022 to 2024, about 16 percent. For 2022, the drop equals $557 million in U.S. dollars, from the current $2.9 billion. Significant decreases are anticipated in the areas of “manufacturing-technological activities” and “cosmodrome development.” Funding for “scientific research and development” is being eliminated. The budgetary backoff comes on top of a loss of income from NASA for the Soyuz launch of astronauts, which has totaled about $400 annually.

Blue Origin postpones William Shatner’s space flight by a day
The Verge (10/10): Blue Origin on Sunday announced a day’s delay in the launch of a New Shepard suborbital rocket from West Texas with actor William Shatner, who played Star Trek’s Capt. James T. Kirk, and three others, due to weather. The launch of NS-18 is now set for Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. EDT.


Major Space Related Activities for the Week

Major space related actvities for the week of October 10-17, 2021 (10/11): The three-day American Astronautical Society’s annual Von Braun Symposium starts on Tuesday in Huntsville, Alabama, with several of NASA’s top leaders among the speakers. Coalition for Deep Space Exploration President and CEO Frank Slazer will moderate a panel on policy and regulation of commercial space transportation. The Mars Society’s annual three-day symposium starts virtually on Thursday. China’s Shenzhou-13 mission to the Tianhe core module of its planned space station may launch Friday or Saturday with a crew of three. On Saturday, Russia’s Soyuz MS-18 is due to return to Earth from the International Space Station (ISS) with Russian actress Yulia Peresild, film director Klim Shipenko, and cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky. Touchdown in Kazakhstan is planned for Sunday at 12:36 a.m. EDT.

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